Trip to Aurangabad and Ellora Caves

A long 12 day trip was planned during this summer vacation. The places on itinerary were Aurangabad, Ellora Caves, Pune, Khandala, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. This post is about the visit to Aurangabad and Ellora caves. Rest of the places will follow soon. :)

1st Day :- Hometown to Manmad. Had to get off at 3.30 am! Train to Aurangabad (2 hrs journey) was at 5 am. Though it started from Manmad itself, it came and left at 7.30 am. It was a passenger train and that meant seat for the quickest :) Thankfully we got seats. Both Manmad and Aurangabad stations are lacking in coolies (porters). Checked in a hotel at Aurangabad and went sightseeing in evening. Hotel experience was not good due to power cuts and bad food. But the evening was well spent at Bibi ka Maqbara and Panchakki (water mill). I realized that photography is very difficult in India as people don’t move out of frame even on request!!

The Bibi-Ka-Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, constructed by her son Prince Azam Shah. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but, the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure had resulted in a poor copy of the latter.

DSC00841

DSC00865

2nd Day :- Checked out of hotel at Aurangabad and left for Ellora Caves (30 kms from Aurangabad) in a hired car. We stopped at Daulatabad fort on way to Ellora but didn’t have the energy to climb it.

DSC00946

There I found guava sellers coloring their guavas to decorate their baskets. They too had a sense of color and style!! :) I took a snap with a seller’s permission.

DSC00959

Then we went to see Aurangzeb’s Tomb. It was a simple building and the tomb was nothing special. Apparently Aurangzeb lead a very modest lifestyle.

DSC00965

Then we reached Ellora. We were awestruck to see the monumental caves and sculptures made by cutting the rocks and faces of the hills. Ellora, a World Heritage Site, is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The most famous cave of Ellora was the Kailash Temple. Such intricate and difficult work after cutting stones and faces of the hills is unthinkable.

Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 “caves” – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain caves (caves 30–34), built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

Ellora has a lot of shops and restaurants nearby. After a nice lunch we visited the Ghrishneshwar Temple that enshrines one of the 12 jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva.

DSC01143

From there we left for Manmad where we had to catch the night train to Pune.

To be continued….

6 Comments

  • dinu says:

    good one :) I had read this on your blog :)
    planning to visit mysore next week or so .. :)

  • nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Reema.

    Only the other day, a friend was mine was talking to me about Ellora. Great timing.

    By the way Adobe has a software for photo enthusiasts, called ‘Adobe Photoshop Elements’. There is a feature there called ‘Scene Cleaner’. If possible try that sometime, what you need to do is to take many pictures of a monument and with the help of simple brush strokes, you can clean the tourists/blocks from the photo.

    http://photoshop.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=573897

    Do we go to Pune next ?

  • Reema says:

    @Dinu thanks!

    @Nandan thank u! I m happy to be a member at this wonderful website. thanks for the tip. I m a novice at photography :( yes we go to Pune next :)

  • YoDDL says:

    lol,I have to admit that i sometimes get bored to read the whole thing but i think you have a nice blog. Cheer !

  • Maqbara says:

    really good pics dear, i really like the one of bibi ka maqbara (which is looking exactly like Taj Mahal at Agra). i hope this website portal is really helpful for the people visiting aurangabad http://www.aurangabadlive.com , when i was in there one of a person shown me this link and it was really helpful to me what is more interesting is the website will help you plan your trip and accomodation etc for free of charge , just email them and they are really helpful.

  • abheeruchi says:

    Hi Reema,
    Nice blog.reminded me my college days when i used to travel from aurangabad to mumbai in devnagri express.we used to get down at manmad station for eatng hot dosa or bread omlette.that was real taste.we used to catch afternoon train without havng lunch at hostel and thn heavy snacks at manmad.Biwi ka makbara , pan chakki , paithan, daulatabad , ghrishneshwar, ellora wr my initial ghumakkari days destination.
    Thanks for refreshing memories.
    Keep travelling , keep writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.